When it come to bad luck, there are couple of superstitions together pervasive in Western society as the of Friday the 13th. Favor crossing routes with a black color cat and breaking a mirror, the concept of a day the can carry misfortune is deeply installed -- also if faithfulness can"t quite explain why.


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There"s even a name to define the irrational dread the the date: paraskevidekatriaphobia -- a committed form the triskaidekaphobia, a are afraid of the number 13.
While Friday the 13th may feel choose a rare phenomenon, our Gregorian calendar way that the 13th of any month is slightly more likely to fall on a Friday than any kind of other job of the week. It is not, however, a universal superstition: In Greece and also Spanish-speaking countries, the is Tuesday the 13th the is thought about a work of negative luck, when in Italy, it is Friday the 17th the is met through fear.
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The critical Supper seemed to placed a curse top top the number 13: The 13th and most notorious guest to arrive, Judas Iscariot, to be the disciple that betrayed Jesus, causing his crucifixion. Credit: Roberto Serra/Iguana Press/Getty Images
Like many superstitions the have progressed over time and throughout cultures, the is difficult to accurately decide the precise origins the Friday 13th. What we do know, though, is the both Friday and the number 13 have been concerned as unlucky in specific cultures throughout history. In his book "Extraordinary origins of daily Things," Charles Panati traces the principle of the cursed earlier to norseman mythology, when Loki, the god that mischief, gate-crashed a banquet in Valhalla, happen the number of gods in attendance come 13. Trickery by Loki, the remote god Hodr was tricked right into shooting his brothers Balder, the god of light, joy and goodness, through a mistletoe-tipped arrow, killing him instantly.
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From Scandinavia, Panati explains, the superstition then spread southern throughout Europe, becoming well developed along the Mediterranean through the begin of the Christian era. The was here that the unsettling power of the numerals to be cemented through the story the the last Supper, which to be attended by Jesus Christ and his disciples on Maundy Thursday. The 13th and also most well known guest come arrive, Judas Iscariot, to be the disciple who betrayed Jesus, leading to his crucifixion on an excellent Friday.
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Hundreds the the Knights Templar to be arrested top top October 13, 1307, and many were later on executed. Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" popularized the erroneous theory this is the initial of the Friday the 13th superstition. Credit: /Hulton Archive/Getty Images
In Biblical tradition, the concept of ominous Fridays, stretches ago even additional than the crucifixion: Friday is stated to be the day that Adam and also Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree that Knowledge; the work Cain murdered his brother, Abel; the day the temple of Solomon was toppled; and the work Noah"s ark set sail in the an excellent Flood.
It wasn"t until the 19th century, however, the Friday 13th became synonymous v misfortune: together Steve Roud explains in "The Penguin overview to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland," the mix of Friday and the number 13 is a victorian invention. In 1907, the publishing of cutting board W. Lawson"s renowned novel "Friday, the Thirteenth" captured the creative thinking with its story of an unscrupulous broker who took advantage of the superstitions about the date to intentionally crash the share market.
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In the 1980s, superstition went pop with the beginning of the "Friday the 13th" slasher franchise, certification hockey-masked killer Jason Voorhees. Credit: Alamy
Fast front to the 1980s, and also a hockey-masked killer by the name of Jason Voorhees in the slasher flick franchise "Friday the 13th" ensured notoriety. Then come Dan Brown"s 2003 novel "The Da Vinci Code," which aided popularize the incorrect claim that the superstition originated v the arrests of thousands of members the the Knights Templar top top Friday, October 13, 1307.
Given the fixed of doom-laden lore, you"d be forgiven for thinking that Friday 13th is undoubtedly ominous. If we destruction deeper, though, we additionally find evidence that both Fridays and the number 13 have long been related to as a harbinger of great fortune. In pagan times, because that instance, Friday was believed to have a distinctive association with the divine feminine. The an initial clue deserve to actually be discovered in the weekday name Friday, which is obtained from Old English and way "day that Frigg." Both Queen that Asgard and a powerful sky goddess in vikings mythology, Frigg (also well-known as Frigga) was linked with love, marriage and also motherhood.
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Frigg provided protection come homes and families, maintained social order, and also could weave fate together she did the clouds. She also possessed the arts of prophecy, and also could bestow or remove fertility. ~ above the other hand, Freyja, the goddess that love, fertility and war with whom Frigg was frequently conflated, to be endowed through the power to execute magic, predict the future, and determine that would die in battles, and was said to journey a chariot traction by two black cats. These goddesses were worshiped widely across Europe and, since of these associations, Friday was taken into consideration a happy day for marital relationship by Norse and Teutonic people.
The Venus the Laussel clutches a crescent-shaped horn bearing 13 notches -- a potential reference to lunar and menstrual cycles. Credit: education and learning Images/Universal photos Group/Getty Images
The number 13, meanwhile, has actually long been pertained to as a portentous number by pre-Christian and goddess-worshipping societies for its connect to the number of lunar and also menstrual cycles that happen in a calendar year. Fertility was prized in pagan times, and also artwork would often attract connections come menstruation, fertility and also the phases that the moon.
Take the Venus of Laussel, an roughly 25,000-year-old limestone carving illustrating a voluptuous female figure cradling her pregnant stomach v one hand, and also holding a crescent-shaped horn bearing 13 notches in the other. Many scholars believe the figurine may have actually represented a goddess the fertility in a ritual or ceremony, when the 13 present are generally read together a reference to the lunar or expression cycle, both of which signify feminine power.
As Christianity acquired momentum in the center Ages, however, paganism stood at odds v the new patriarchal faith. Not only did its leaders take objection to the prayer of multiple gods and goddesses, but the celebration event of Friday, the number 13, and the goddesses who invoked love, sex, fertility, magic and pleasure were considered unholy.
So revered to be these deities, though, that making people relinquish them verified a real challenge. However Christian authorities persisted v their campaign, branding both the deities and the women that worshiped lock witches.
"When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga to be banished in shame to a mountaintop and also labeled a witch," Panati writes. "It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting v eleven other witches, to add the devil -- a collection of thirteen -- and also plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week."
Early in her career, Taylor Swift would often perform with the number 13 -- i beg your pardon the singer considers lucky -- composed on she hand. Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images
These days, of course, Friday the 13th tho haunts the western imagination. But with conversations approximately the duty misogyny has actually played in silencing powerful women throughout background now in the mainstream, perhaps the narrative of this ominous date and the mrs deities connected with it could soon it is in rewritten.
The tide might have currently started to turn: take Taylor Swift, that considers 13 her lucky number and, at an early stage in she career, often performed with the number composed on her hand.
"I was born ~ above the 13th. Ns turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My an initial album went yellow in 13 weeks. My very first No. 1 one song had a 13-second intro," she said MTV in 2009. "Every time I"ve winner an compensation I"ve been seated in one of two people the 13th seat, the 13th row, the 13th section or heat M, i m sorry is the 13th letter. Basically, at any time a 13 come up in my life, it"s a an excellent thing."


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With much more endorsements favor this, fortune, quite than fear, can well become the tradition of Friday the 13th.